FOR FANS of Nigerian artist Arinze Stanley, the line between reality and make-believe is blurred.
Arinze’s work has many questioning whether it is a digital photograph or drawing as he continues to push the boundaries with his hyper-realistic art.
When drawing hair in a portrait, he studies the kind of hair he’s using as reference, the volume of hair, the size of the strands of hair depending on the kind of hair. Starting his drawings from no specific place, he draws from places with the darkest value.
Arinze’s early interest in art was sparked by having paper around him as his family ran a paper company.
Based in Nigeria, the hyper-realist artist has had his work showcased at the prestigious Insanity Exhibition in Lagos.
Arinze said his hope for the future is that “Nigerian artists will be taken as or even more seriously than lawyers”.
He told Ventures Africa: “I see a future where Nigerian artists will be taken as or even more seriously than engineers, lawyers and doctors. A future where Nigeria will be a centre for Arts globally.”
Arinze started drawing professionally four years ago, and began exploring hyper-realism in 2012 when he got deeply inspired and motivated by the works of artists like Kelvin Okafor and Emmanuele Dascanio on social media.
He spends over 200 hours on each of his portrait drawings, but doesn’t consider himself “as successful just yet” since he’s still refining his skills. “Every day I draw is a journey for me”, he stated, adding that he’s in a competition with himself.
“Practice, patience, and persistence’ is Arinze’s motto, and quite frankly, all of his works embody those three words, particularly patience and persistence.